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Mngqithi: Shalulile, Jali, Zwane and Dolly deserve Footballer of the Season

09 May 2022 - 17:38
Mamelodi Sundowns' ace Namibian striker Peter Shalulile looks set to clinch his third Golden Boots award since arriving in SA.
Mamelodi Sundowns' ace Namibian striker Peter Shalulile looks set to clinch his third Golden Boots award since arriving in SA.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Peter Shalulile deserves the PSL's footballer of the season award and so do his Mamelodi Sundowns teammates Andile Jali and Themba Zwane, Downs co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi says.

Mngqithi added Kaizer Chiefs’ Keagan Dolly to the list of players who have done well this season, but said Shalulile stands head and shoulders above the rest.

The Namibian hitman played a leading role as Sundowns wrapped up their fifth DStv Premiership title in a row with four games remaining.

With two Premiership matches left, 28-year-old Namibian Shalulile is on a remarkable 22 goals and capable of equalling or surpassing Collins Mbesuma’s long-standing Premiership record of 25 in the 2004-2005 season.

With Stellenbosch FC left to play on Saturday and Royal AM on May 21 in the Premiership and their Nedbank Cup final against Marumo Gallants on May 28, Shalulile has featured in 42 of Sundowns' games in all competitions, scoring 28 goals with seven assists.

“Yes, I’ve seen a lot from my team,” Mngqithi said when asked which player deserves to be crowned the king of SA football after Sundowns held on under pressure to a 1-1 league draw against Chiefs at FNB Stadium on Sunday.

“From my team, Peter deserves it, Jali deserves it and Zwane deserves it. But I also think Dolly deserves it. Dolly had a good season and for that he deserves it.”

Dolly is Chiefs' leading scorer with seven goals in his first season back in the PSL after four-and-a-half in France with Montpellier.

The PSL footballer of the season is chosen by Premiership coaches while the DStv Premiership player’s player of the season is voted by the players.

Shalulile is the reigning king of SA football having been crowned both the 2020-2021 footballer of the season and player’s player of the season at the PSL awards in Sandton last year.

Shalulile’s 22 goals are a vast improvement on the 15 he scored last year to finish one behind SuperSport United's injury-prone Bradley Grobler (16).

Another player who Mngqithi believes could have stood a good chance to be the footballer of the season is Chief’s exciting young attacking midfielder Nkosingiphile Ngcobo.

The 22-year-old with an ability beat players with deft touches played 40 games in all competitions and scored four goals in 2020-2021 under former coach Gavin Hunt.

Ngcobo was one of the leading lights for Amakhosi as they charged to the final of the Caf Champions League during a difficult period domestically, amid a Fifa ban on signing players.

Ngcobo was not favoured by Chiefs' recently fired ex-coach Stuart Baxter and has been limited to 16 appearances and two goals in all competitions this season.

“There’s a young player who I thought could have really set the stage alight this season based on his performances last season — the young Nkosingiphile Ngcobo from Kaizer Chiefs,” said Mngqithi.

“I believe had that boy had a lot of game time this season there was a lot he could have offered, but in terms of the player of the season I think those that I have counted deserve it.”

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